The NSW workers compensation system

The NSW workers compensation system provides support to people injured at work, including assistance with recovering and returning to work wherever possible.

Support and assistance may be provided in the form of:

  • compensation for lost wages;
  • medical, hospital and rehabilitation treatment;
  • return to work assistance;
  • and, in certain cases, compensation for non-economic loss.

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is the NSW Government agency responsible for regulating the NSW workers compensation system.

Broadly speaking there are three types of insurers in the NSW workers compensation system: icare; self-insurers; and specialised insurers.

icare is a NSW Government agency that provides insurance and care services to statutory authorities and to people with injuries under various compensation schemes. 

Learn more about your role

    Our insurance and care schemes

  • Workers Insurance

    icare is a NSW Government agency that provides insurance and care services to statutory authorities and people with injuries under various compensation schemes. This includes the Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer, providing workers compensation to more than 326,000 employers and 3.6 million workers in NSW.

    icare workers insurance acts for the Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer and engages insurers Employers Mutual NSW Limited (EML), Allianz, DXC Technology, GIO, Gallagher Bassett and QBE to manage workers compensation claims on its behalf.

    We also act on behalf of the Sporting Injuries Compensation Authority, which provides benefits for people seriously injured playing sport through a no-fault scheme.

    This includes all authorised sporting activities in NSW schools, as well as sports organisations that have sporting insurance cover through icare.

    Although all employers are required to hold a valid workers compensation insurance policy, should an employer not have a valid policy in place, an injured worker can still make a claim through the Uninsured Liability Scheme.

  • Dust Diseases Care

    The Workers Compensation (Dust Diseases) Authority  provides compensation, treatment and care for workers with a dust disease and their dependants.  We provide services to the Workers Compensation (Dust Diseases) Authority through icare Dust Diseases Care.

  • Insurance for NSW

    Insurance for NSW (formerly icare self insurance) represents a statutory body that operates a number of NSW Government managed funds.

    As the authorised delegate, we manage the Treasury Managed Fund (TMF), which provides workers compensation cover (as well as cover for other liabilities, costs and expenses) for most public sector employers.

Self insurers

Self-insurers are employers approved by SIRA to manage their own workers compensation claims.  

A self-insurer employer can manage and administer their own workers' compensation claims, instead of obtaining a workers' compensation policy from icare.

A self-insurer is responsible for:   

  • the direct ownership and management of workplace and workers compensation risks
  • the experience and outcomes for injured workers
  • workforce relationships  

Employers need to obtain a self-insurer licence from SIRA to become a self-insurer.  

Specialised insurers

Specialised insurers are licensed by SIRA to provide workers compensation insurance cover and manage workers compensation claims and liabilities for employers in a specific industry.

Regardless of which type of insurer is involved, all have an obligation to support your patient in their recovery and return to work, as well as managing claims to ensure they receive the correct entitlements.

Learn more about your role in the system